Roundtable Weekly
Real Estate Roundtable Leaders Discuss Market Conditions, Policy Issues Facing CRE
March 1, 2024
Real Estate Roundtable Chair John Fish (Chairman & CEO, Suffolk)
Real Estate Roundtable Chair John Fish (Chairman & CEO, Suffolk) on Bloomberg’s Wall Street Week.

This week, Real Estate Roundtable Chair John Fish (Chairman & CEO, Suffolk) and Roundtable President and CEO Jeffrey DeBoer discussed market conditions and policy issues impacting commercial real estate with Bloomberg’s Wall Street Week and the American College of Real Estate Lawyers (ACREL).

Markets and Federal Actions

  • Roundtable Chair John Fish addressed how current economic challenges facing commercial real estate, cities, communities, businesses and individuals have led to a somewhat “somber” mood in his Feb. 26 Wall Street Week interview.
  • Fish emphasized the importance of CRE to the overall economy and the need for policymakers to work with the industry to ensure a soft landing. He also discussed the wave of maturing CRE debt coming due at higher interest rates as remote-work continues to press the industry—and the ramifications of a large number of environmental regulations moving forward in a compressed time period.
  • The Roundtable’s chair noted, “Back in June of 2023, the Federal Reserve, the FDIC in the OCC issued forward guidance on working with borrowers, and that was credit worthy borrowers. I would encourage them to continue with their policy and reinforce that policy. It's extremely important to the industry as a whole because creditworthy borrowers should not get hurt through this process.” (Roundtable Weekly, June 30, 2023)
  • He added, “We need the Federal government to work with us on interest rates. We also need the federal government to ask workers to come back to work. That's one of the reasons why some of our buildings in downtown urban areas are 25, 30 percent vacant today. As an industry, we need to work together, collaborating with the government to try to solve these problems.” (Bloomberg’s Wall Street Week)

The Roundtable’s Policy Role

Roundtable President and CEO Jeffrey DeBoer, right, with Jay Epstein, former president of the American College of Real Estate Lawyers, left.
  • Roundtable President and CEO Jeffrey DeBoer spoke with Jay Epstein, former president of the American College of Real Estate Lawyers on the Feb. 26 edition of the ACREL Files podcast about The Roundtable’s policy advocacy role in Washington and compelling issues now facing the industry. 
  • DeBoer explained that The Roundtable is a unifier between industry and lawmakers on policies that benefit the economy and communities by using a non-partisan, data-centric, asset-based approach.
  • DeBoer also said the industry is at an inflection point as issues—including post-pandemic remote work and CRE needs, office-to-residential property conversions, affordable housing, building energy usage, insurance costs, and xenophobic attitudes to foreign real estate ownership—are “all rushing forward on top of the market challenges.” (ACREL Files podcast)

“By and large, the industry has stepped up to challenges, met them, and helped the economy and the country move forward.” He added, “Today there are other problems with financing and remote work, but I have no doubt the industry will overcome those challenges and emerge stronger.”

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